With the Milwaukee Brewers coming to town, I went looking for some information on the Brewers. Al’s Ramblings was more than happy to answer my questions…
The Brewers were considered by many to be the sexy pick to win the Central last year, but fell to the Cubs. Now that the Cubs are the sexy pick, do you see the Brewers putting it all together and winning the Central? Or do you think they’ve dug themselves too deep a hole?
Losing Yovani Gallardo really hurt. Not only did it cost the Crew their second best SP, it robbed us of any depth they had in the rotation. It’s only mid-May, so they have plenty of time to get back in the race, but it is suddenly a much steeper climb than it would have been with a healthy Gallardo.
All of your sluggers — Prince Fielder, Bill Hall and Rickie Weeks — are off to slow starts. In Hall’s case, it’s a continuation of a decline from 2006. Weeks has never been known to hit for contact, and only Fielder seems guaranteed to pull out of his slump with a bang. How’s Brewer Nation feeling about those three these days?
I’m the most worried about Hall, as his OBP is very low and he seems unable to improve his plate discipline to a level that will force pitchers to give him strikes. Fielder is adjusting to being pitched around. Weeks’ BA is low, but he works the count well and history suggests he will raise his BA and OBP with a hot streak soon.
Let’s talk about Eric Gagne, the whipping boy in Boston last year. What’s he doing that is causing him to pick up right where he left off in Boston? Can he ever piece together whatever he lost?
He has been the victim of some bad luck, as many of his base hits allowed have been bloopers and ground balls that found the hole. That said, he has worked from behind in the count and walked far too many batters as well. He’ll get better, but I’m not sure if he’ll ever get that swagger back and be a top guy again.
The rotation sans Ben Sheets looks to be a mess. Yovani Gallardo is out for the year and only Jeff Suppan is earning his paycheck, and we all know how well he fared in the American League. What’s it going to take for your rotation to turn it around? Do Carlos Villanueva, Dave Bush and Manny Parra all deserve to draw big-league checks, or is this the one weakness on an otherwise competitive club?
As I said earlier, Yo’s knee injury cost the Brewers their depth, and left the team with up to three guys who have been solid in the past, but far from spectacular…none of them are off to real good starts, especially in the area of being able to give the team 6-7 innings each time out.
Red Sox fan favorite Gabe Kapler will be returning to Boston and will undoubtedly get a standing ovation. Nobody expected Kappy to be this good — what was your opinion of the signing now, and what has Gabe meant to the Brewers so far?
Total no-risk signing, as he was not even given a guaranteed contract. He did nicely when Cameron was out, but is now strictly a bench guy, who pinch-hits 2-3x a week.
Ned Yost, Bobby Cox’s right hand man for a long time, seems to be losing the team and certainly has to be feeling a little warmness on his derri?